As the feature size of integrated circuits continues to shrink in the pursuit of higher speeds and better energy efficiency, the directed self-assembly of block copolymers offers an alternative to increasingly expensive and inefficient conventional lithographic techniques. Thin films of block copolymers can be directed to self-assemble into highly ordered patterns with nano-scale resolution, offering a pathway to smaller and smaller feature sizes. For use in the integrated circuit industry, this assembly must be nearly perfect, tolerating an extremely low defect density. Thus, the formation of defects in block copolymer DSA is of great interest. We use advanced simulation techniques to resolve the molecular pathways of defect annihilation and the free energy of the associated process in order to better understand how defects form, why certain defects are more likely than other, and how best to eliminate them.
Cody is from Chardon, Ohio. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2015 with his B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering. Later that year he joined the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago to pursue his Ph.D. In his spare time he is a passionate reader, an avid gamer, and enjoys exploring the city of Chicago.